There seems to be an epidemic of grade-school kids bringing guns to school. Er, uh, that is, making guns at school. As in, making the shape of one with their hands.
These people’s heads would explode if they saw the kinds of things my classmates and I played with at recess in grade school. My friends had full-size plastic replicas of M-16s, and I actually had a half-size operating plastic version of an M-2 (“Ma Deuce”) .50 caliber machine gun. It was belt-fed, just like the real McCoy, and would literally shoot plastic bullets out of the muzzle, albeit at non-lethal speeds. (But dang, would they sting if they hit you.) They looked something like these, although my M-2 was bigger and all olive drab, without the red “safety” muzzle tip.
Also back in the day, I went to a gun & military memorabilia show with my Boy Scout troop, where I bought a dummy Vietnam-era fragmentation grenade. It was hollow, but I could screw out the detonator, and I could pull back the spring striker, put a cap underneath it, hold it down with the spoon handle, and put the pin it. At recess, we would play war games. My friends would “attack” my machine gun nest, and I would pull the pin on the grenade, hear the cap go off, and heave it at my chums to drive off their attack. After recess, I would walk around the school with the grenade hanging on my belt.
Oh, the horror! And of course, I grew up to be a stone-cold killer softie. Nowadays a kid can’t bring a “spork” to school in his lunch bag without violating the “zero tolerance” (read “zero judgment”) policy. If a kid gets attacked and tries to defend himself, HE gets in trouble. In my youth, the teachers would let a fight go on long enough to see if the bully got his comeuppance, or to prevent a smaller kid from getting the snot beat out of him. I remember a middle-school coach who kept a set of boxing gloves, and he would let torqued-up adolescents wail away on each other until they exhausted themselves (and their anger) without permanent damage.
What a world we live in now.